Brighton and Hove City Council official accused of leading travellers to an illegal site (From The Argus)
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Brighton and Hove City Council official accused of leading travellers to an illegal site
Residents are outraged after claims a council officer moved on a convoy of travellers to an illegal encampment near residential homes.
Around 40 vans of Irish travellers set up camp on green fields in Woodingdean.
It has been claimed a liaison officer directed the group to two Bexhill Road sites from Carden Park – a claim the council denies.
Councillor Dee Simpson, Conservative member for Woodingdean, has been inundated with calls from concerned residents.
She said: “One resident who was outside when the group arrived tells me she witnessed a convoy of travellers being led onto the site by a city council vehicle.
“That’s what I find outrageous. If it’s true then people will be absolutely livid. I really did push the woman, to make sure if she was sure that’s what she saw, and she was absolutely certain. The council should not be doing that.”
‘Directed to site’
A traveller at the site also said the council’s traveller liaison officer had directed them to the Woodingdean site from Carden Park.
The man, who did give his name, said: “We were told if we came up here we could stay for six weeks. The council know they haven’t created enough sites for us. We know all the spots in Brighton. We like it here in the summer.”
A council spokeswoman said: “The council has not authorised any member of staff to lead travellers on to land at Bexhill Road in Woodingdean. Claims to the contrary should be reported to the police for investigation.”
Police said no reports had been made about a council escort to the site.
Simon Kirby, MP for Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven, called for the removal of the camp and the reopening of the Horsdean transit site.
He said: “The delays in re-opening the Horsdean site have gone on for far too long and I have long warned that further unauthorised encampments were the likely consequence of the council’s failure. It simply cannot be |right that Woodingdean residents are again inconvenienced, following earlier encampments at Happy Valley and on land next to the cemetery.”
Nick Hammond, a resident of Bexhill Road, said: “If that’s true then I would want blood. We’re really angry about it. Residents feel we should have a rebate on our rates.”
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